Economic Crisis Kicks Sarah Palin Out of Headlines
As I can tell you from the keywords and volumes of searches I am now seeing, Sarah Palin has now taken a back seat to the economy in the minds of voters but it appears that others are also noticing this trend.
The economic crisis on Wall Street is being described as the final pop to a bursting economic bubble. But in the realm of politics, the grim news may have snapped another big bubble: namely, the media attention that accompanied Sarah Palin’s rise to national prominence.
A Nexis search for Sarah Palin’s name within the “major newspapers” category during the week before Monday September 15 — when the stock market dropped more than 500 points — yields 2,697 results, representing an impressive haul of coverage. (By contrast, search for “Joe Biden” over the same period and you will only find 613 articles vying for your attention.) But, counting from last Monday, the same Sarah Palin search on Nexis turns up 1,866 hits, an astonishing decrease of just under 31 percent.
Of course, a raw total of clippings tells little about the tenor of coverage a candidate receives. The last week has not been easy on Palin, either. In the past few days, her husband’s decision not to cooperate in the “troopergate” probe, has dominated Governor Sarah Palin-related headlines.
Was it the economic crisis that got newspapers off the Sarah Palin stories, or just the inevitable coming down to earth after a bout of major media attention? Of course, it’s difficult to say for certain. But even withing the decreasing number of stories about Sarah Palin, one can find a certain relief among press members who are eager to talk about issues instead of personalities. In the week before last Monday’s market crash, 16 stories turned up in major newspapers in which Sarah Palin was discussed through the lens of “lipstick” — the punchline to her well-received joke at the RNC and a subsequent headache for Barack Obama after he used the same term in a different context.